Google Dish


So what’s all this we read in The Wall Street Journal about a deal between Google and Dish Network? Just the usual "according to people familiar with the matter." Bloomberg writers use the same source. But there appears to be serious speculation as to exactly what’s going on, even though we blogged it three years ago.

The service, which runs on TV set-top boxes containing Google software, allows users to find shows on the satellite-TV service as well as video from Web sites like Google’s YouTube, according to these people. It also lets users to personalize a lineup of shows, these people said.

With the test, Google moves deeper into a crowded field of companies, large and small, that have been trying for years to marry the Web and TV and their business models—from rivals Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. to the manufacturers of televisions and set-top boxes.

Just last week, TiVo Inc. announced new digital video recorders that blend broadcast and online content.

Google’s test, which began last year, is limited to a very small number of the company’s employees and their families and could be discontinued at any time, said the people familiar with the matter.

Viewers in the Google test, these people said, can search by typing queries, using a keyboard rather than a remote control. Google hopes to connect the service with its nascent TV ad-brokering business, allowing it to target ads to individual households based on search and viewing data.


I think this is the beginning of something wonderful. Google will be able to target individual STBs — in the same household, for example — and sell the context, just as they do today across millions of Web sites. How can you do that with video? Simple: use the audio track to identify context. Yeah, Microsoft can do that, too.

Bring it!